ABSTRACT

I taught ethnic studies courses in the teacher education program at the University of Washington in the 1970s. I noticed that identification with their ethnic groups, assimilation levels, ethnic behaviors, and militancy varied widely among students within the same ethnic groups. Some of my African American students, for example, confined most of their interactions within Black communities both on and off campus, whereas others lived in predominantly White suburbs and had few African American friends. Some of my Jewish students identified strongly with Israel and felt politically and culturally connected with it; others did not. Some of my Latino students were fluent in both English and Spanish, whereas others spoke only English and were uncomfortable when people expected or implied that they should be Spanish speakers.